New Imaging Tool Captures Process That Turns Tumor Cells Malignant in Breast Cancer

New Imaging Tool Captures Process That Turns Tumor Cells Malignant in Breast Cancer
A new imaging technique that visualizes individual cells with high resolution may improve the understanding of key events in breast cancer development, including how and when cells turn invasive and spread elsewhere. The tool, which already has helped explain mechanisms used by cancer cells to evade treatment, was described in the study, "Intraclonal Plasticity in Mammary Tumors Revealed through Large-Scale Single-Cell Resolution 3D Imaging," published in Cancer Cell. Like other types of cancer, breast tumors are known to be highly heterogeneous, which can diminish treatment effectiveness. However, the way cancer cells interact with each other and acquire different characteristics throughout tumor development is still poorly understood. "A comprehensive view of tissue composition, cell shape, cell-cell interactions, and cell-fate decisions in complex biological specimens requires sophisticated 3D imaging and longitudinal imaging technologies," the investigators wrote. Scientists at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia described a new 3D imaging method that allows them to visualize mammary tumors at the single-cell scale. With this technique, they set out to investigate how tumor cells develop from pre-cancerous cells in the mammary ducts, and continue to change their characteristics and behavior. Using two different mouse models of breast cancer, researchers calculated exactly how many malignant cells developed from pre-cancerous cells in the mammary gland o
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